SW Legal studies in Business

Injury Claim Alleged Due to Failure to Perform Contract Properly Must Go to Arbitration
Description Florida high court held that a claim against a pest control service for negligence for failure to kill spiders, which caused injury to plaintiff, must go to arbitration as the arbitration clause was written to include personal injury claims.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Arbitration; Coverage
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Sears and Sullivan had a pest control contract in which Sears agreed to provide services for the control of pests, including spiders. Sullivan, who was bitten by brown recluse spiders, causing her personal injuries, sued Sears for negligence for failing to eliminate the spiders. Sears moved to dismiss the suit because the contract included an arbitration clause. The trial judge granted Sears' motion; the appeals court reversed. Sears appealed.
Decision

Reversed. Sullivan's claim for personal injuries based on the exterminator's alleged failure to control spiders was required by the pest control service agreement to go to arbitration, as it was written broadly to cover all claims arising out of performance of the contract.

Citation Sears Authorized Termite and Pest Control v. Sullivan, 816 So.2d 603 (Sup. Ct., Fla., 2002)

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